This beautiful book will make the ideal Christmas present; but apart from its attraction as a gift book it is an interesting and impressive anthology in its own right.The book is divided into four sections: Before the Feast, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and After the Feast, each section reflecting both the Christian and the secular aspects of the Christmas festival.The contents have been drawn from English prose and poetry, from Elizabethan times to the present day. In addition to the carefully chosen poems and prose extracts, the book includes a selection of well-known carols and is delightfully illustrated with colour plates and black-and-white drawings throughout.This anthology includes extracts from the work of such diverse writers as Dickens and Dylan Thomas, T. S. Eliot and Samuel Pepys, J. B. Priestley and Kenneth Grahame. In addition, the compilers have spiced the book with Christmas anecdotes and menus, recipes and descriptions of Christmas fare.This varied collection of ingredients like those of the traditional Christmas Pudding blend with each other to form a delightful book for reading and giving. It is a book which will be enjoyed before and after the festive season and, of course, essentially during the twelve days of Christmas.